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With car thefts and carjackings on the rise, people are turning to tech

There are products available to help you locate your vehicle if it’s stolen using an app on your phone.

NEW ORLEANS — With the recent explosion in carjackings and auto thefts in Greater New Orleans, some vehicle owners are turning to technology for help. 

There are GPS and Bluetooth devices that can help locate your vehicle if it’s stolen. Cyber expert George Schiaffino from New Orleans Integrated Technologies says there are products available to help you locate your vehicle if it’s stolen using an app on your phone.

Services offered by car dealers such as OnStar, Blue Link and Ford Link use GPS technology to track your car. Some of the subscription services also allow you to kill your car’s engine and prevent it from restarting.

“I think the only way to be proactive if you want to find your vehicle is to have a service turned on that does your vehicle tracking,” Schiaffino said. “If you 're afraid of your car getting stolen and you want to find it, yes, this is the best thing to do.” 

You can also purchase after-market GPS trackers and have them installed at stores like Mobile One in Metairie. 

“Now, obviously with the level of carjacking going on, it’s a hot commodity, Mobile One Owner Paul Campo said. “In the event of a carjacking, obviously you want comply with the threat, but there are ways to track your vehicle after that event via GPS tracking.” 

The device is hidden inside your dashboard and wired directly to your vehicle’s electrical system. Blaine Miller is an installer at Mobile One and a customer. He says his GPS tracker gives him peace of mind. 

“Knowing that’s there’s a better chance of having the vehicle recovered and getting back to me, if someone does take it,” Miller said. “It will give the address and GPS location within about 50 feet to where the car is.” 

Most GPS vehicle tracking systems require a monthly subscription fee, ranging from $30 to $60, depending on the features you want. There are smaller Bluetooth devices like Apple AirTags that can also help locate your vehicle. 

The AirTag doesn’t have to lock on to your iPhone. 

It can connect to any modern Apple device, including the car thief’s iPhone. 

“If I had a Bluetooth device in my car and you stole my car and you’re driving my car and you have an apple device, the tag will talk back to your phone and through your phone, it will alert Apple as to where the tag is,” Schiaffino said. 

Even if you can track your stolen vehicle, it’s not a good idea to recover it by yourself.  It’s best to call police. 

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